MEN ON BOATS Opens At New Village Arts, 3/31

New Village Arts Theatre is proud to announce MEN ON BOATS by contemporary playwright Jaclyn Backhaus, directed by Melissa Coleman-Reed.

Men on Boats is a gender-bent, anachronistic retelling of John Wesley Powell's harrowing 1869 expedition, wherein a one-armed captain and a crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. The twist? While the expedition consisted of ten men, ten women retell the story in Backhaus' version. The comedy premiered during the Clubbed Thumb Summerworks festival at the Wild Project in June 2015.

Melissa Coleman-Reed returns to the directing chair this season, having made an impressive debut with last season's HAVING OUR SAY: THE DELANY SISTERS' FIRST 100 YEARS. Her cast includes NVA's Executive Artistic Director, Kristianne Kurner, as Powell, the one-armed leader of the expedition. Coleman-Reed also reunites with HAVING OUR SAY's Milena (Sellers) Phillips as Old Shady, who received a Craig Noel Award nomination for her work in HAVING OUR SAY. The cast includes a number of familiar NVA faces, including Samantha Ginn (Hawkins; previously seen at NVA in SYLVIA and THE WIER), Tamara McMillian (Seneca/The Bishop; at NVA: THE SEER & THE WITCH), Nancy Ross (Dunn; at NVA: FINAL DRAFT NEW PLAY FESTIVAL 2018). Making their NVA debut are Tiffany Tang (Goodman, Mr. Asa), Joy Yvonne Jones (Hall), Paloma Dominguez (Sumner), Brianna Dodson (Bradley), and Melba Novoa (OG/Tsuawiat).

MEN ON BOATS will feature costume design by Elisa Benzoni, Projections and Sound Design by Melanie Chen Cole, Scenic Design by Christopher Scott Murillo, Lighting Design by Sarah Schwartz, and Property Design by Michelle Stann. Rosalee Barrientos serves as Stage Manager, Elisa Alvarez serves as Assistant Stage Manager, and Dominique Duren serves as Assistant Director.

The production will run from March 31 to April 22. Thursday/Friday/Saturday: 8pm. Saturday Matinee: 3pm. Sunday Matinee: 2pm. Please visit for exact dates and showtimes.

Tickets: $33 - $36, with discounts available for Seniors, Students, and Active Military. Tickets can be purchased in person at New Village Arts (2787 State Street, Carlsbad, CA), online at, or via phone at 760.433.3245

Summary: Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. MEN ON BOATS is the true(ish) history of the 1869 Powell Expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River, with one major twist: all the roles are played by women.

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